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Jul 30 2011

Saturday Storytime: Ponies

The nominees for the World Fantasy Awards have been announced. This very short story by Kij Johnson, is not your average award nominee, but it is entirely obvious why it deserved to be nominated.

“Where are you?” Barbara asks.

“I’m outside,” TopGirl says, so Barbara gets a Crystal Light and three frosted raisin-oatmeal cookies and follows her. TheOtherGirls outside are listening to an iPod plugged into speakers and playing Wii tennis and watching the Ponies play HideAndSeek and Who’sPrettiest and ThisIsTheBestGame. They are all there, SecondGirl and SuckUpGirl and EveryoneLikesHerGirl and the rest. Barbara only speaks when she thinks she’ll get it right.

And then it’s time. TheOtherGirls and their silent Ponies collect in a ring around Barbara and Sunny. Barbara feels sick.

TopGirl says to Barbara, “What did she pick?”

Sunny looks scared but answers her directly. “I would rather talk than fly or stab things with my horn.”

TopGirl says to Barbara, “That’s what Ponies always say.” She gives Barbara a curved knife with a blade as long as a woman’s hand.

“Me?” Barbara says. “I thought someone else did it. A grown-up.”

Keep reading.

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  1. 1
    Jodi

    Saw this pop up on your twitter: "Ooo! Ponies! Yay!" *Goes and reads immediately* …. "Uh … wow … ponies …" *blink* "Awesome!"

  2. 2
    Theo Bromine

    I have to echo one of the comments made at tor.com: Reminds me why I hated pre-adolescent and adolescent girls when I was one.

  3. 3
    Stephanie Zvan

    Theo, I was incredibly lucky in the girls I hung out with at that age. We were all already outcast for being geek, so most of the other pressures were moot.

  4. 4
    Theo Bromine

    Yay for geekdom – in highschool I did manage to hook up with a group of other geeks (almost all male, as this was the 1970s, and girl geeks were few and far between). So I still hated girls, but at least I had friends.

  1. 5
    Saturday Storytime: Mantis Wives » Almost Diamonds

    [...] Johnson has been in these pages before, also for an award-nominated story. This one is up for the 2013 short story Hugos. If you like her [...]

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